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Accueil du site > Galerie > The fern sporangium : a unique catapult

The fern sporangium : a unique catapult

For more information, see the project Mouvement biomechanics of plants and fungi.

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Fluides & Matériaux Complexes

Images en autofluorescence d’un sporange de fougères se déformant du fait de l’évaporation de l’eau présente dans ses cellules dont on voit les parois. Taille d’une image : 1mm. - 29.3 ko

The fern sporangium : a unique catapult - 25.8 Mo

A large group of ferns eject their spores using a catapult mechanism which make their dispersal very efficient. In our study at the interface between physics (LPMC, LJAD, Nice) and plant biomechanics (OEB, Harvard University) we have analyzed the mechanics of this natural catapult. High speed imaging have shown that the fast recoil motion is realized in two time scales, which allows a stop for a short time of the arm, ejecting efficiently the spores. In this movie we show the different steps of the catapulting mechanism.